Recently in conversation, a friend asked “Who is Ai Weiwei?” Impossible. You know him, unconsciously. He has masterminded some of the most powerful icons of today: the National Stadium, the “Han Dynasty Urn with Coca Cola Logo,” and his unpretentious, minimalist building style of grey-brick has revolutionized contemporary Chinese architecture.
Whether it is through the man himself, his legendary blog, his architecture, or his iconic works of contemporary art, Ai Weiwei is the artist you already know. With 2009 exhibitions concurrently open in Tokyo, Germany, Brussels and Beijing, his work is influential, prominent and provocative, no doubt why museums and established collectors are clamoring for his works, attracting even frugal investors who abide by investment principals laid down by companies like investools.
Below are some of his most often reproduced images, found in monographs, on catalogue and book covers, in newspapers, online. Before we can begin to talk about Ai Weiwei the iconoclast, the following are a brief introduction (in pictures) of some of his most renowned works.
Han Dynasty Urn with Coca-cola Logo (1994)
Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995) pictured here is the middle panel of a triptych
National “Bird’s Nest” Stadium in which AWW worked as a design consultant to the architect Herzon de Meuron
Painted Vases (2003) Neolithic vases coated in paint
Study in Perspective (Tiananmen) (1995) The “Perspective” series was conducted over nearly a decade, and includes the White House, the “Mona Lisa”, the Reichstag, etc.
Table With Two Legs on the Wall (1997)
“Forever” Bicycles (2003) Forever bicycles are a classic brandname known throughout China
Hanging Man (Duchamp) (1985)
June 1994 –– on the 5th anniversary of the ‘incident’
Fountain of Light (2007) based on Vladimir Tatlin’s “monument for the third international, 1920″
Fairytale (2007) Ai Weiwei poses with some of the 1,001 Chinese people who traveled to Kassel, Germany as part of his artwork “Fairytale”
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[…] Ai Weiwei posing with a portion of the 1,001-strong Chinese contingent who travelled to Kassel, Germany, under the auspices of his Fairytale project in 2007. Image courtesy of Sinopop.org. […]